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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 September 2006, 21:24 GMT 22:24 UK
Nigeria widows lose their fortune
Pile of money
Akanni's fortune only came to light after his death in a plane crash
Nigeria's anti-corruption body has made its largest single seizure of illegally acquired assets belonging to a dead electoral official and pastor.

The $55m estate of Timothy Olufemi Akanni came to the attention of the authorities after his two widows rowed about who should inherit it.

It was only after his death in a plane crash last October that it was discovered he had a secret second wife.

The ex-electoral commission director's assets now pass to the state.

Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) made the seizures through an order it obtained from the High Court in the capital, Abuja.

The BBC's Sola Odunfa in Lagos says the forfeited assets include 23 bank accounts in various names; shares in leading Nigerian banks; houses and land in the most sought-after parts of Lagos and Abuja; schools in Abuja and a variety of motor vehicles.

Our correspondent says Mr Akanni, who was a Pentecostal Church pastor in Abuja, was eulogised at his death for being a patriotic and selfless Nigerian.

The posthumous discovery of his second wife and fortune has shocked many of his friends and family.

When the family became divided over the inheritance, the EFFC was informed of Mr Akanni's previously unknown wealth.

After months of investigation the EFFC discovered assets far greater in value than his total legitimate earnings in life.


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